"They say... hope begins in the dark. But most just flail around in the blackness... searching for their destiny. The darkness, for me, is where I shine."
The second of two games set in The Chronicles of Riddick universe. Assault on Dark Athena is a remake/sequel to the 2004 game Escape from Butcher Bay. It features the entire Butcher Bay campaign, featuring updated graphics as well as the new story aboard the vessel Dark Athena.Dark Athena's story begins where Butcher Bay left off after Riddick and Johns escaped together. While in stasis sleep, they are taken forcibly aboard the Dark Athena, a massive mercenary vessel. The ship is run by Gale Revas and her second in command, Spinner. Whilst Johns is captured, Riddick manages to escape and must now fight his way off the ship to safety.Whilst the game's AI showed its age a bit and the multiplayer disappointed, it was received very well and proved to be enjoyable to fans of the first game and newcomers alike. It was also praised for its great voice acting.
This videogame contains examples of:
All Just a Dream: As with the previous game, it's strongly implied that the tutorial level is just a dream Riddick has in hypersleep.
Anti-Frustration Feature: If you die and auto-reload at a checkpoint, you sometimes regain health. It doesn't work in some cases (e.g. before fighting Jaylor).
Bond One-Liner: Riddick knocks Revas into an elevator shaft, then drops her after a short conversation. Lynn asks him if she's gone.): "When I say goodbye, it's forever."
The Dark Athena ship is half this, half private military force/slave ship.
Riddick plays a weird version of this in the game, as he collects bounty hunter bounties, with them having often strange and even hilarious reasons for the bounty, like a man wanted for killing a royal family member's goose, or one wanted for killing over 36,000 people, and his bounty being 25,000 UD, with the only person with that low of a bounty other than him having been convicted of stealing religious memorabilia.
Break the Cutie: Lynn Silverman gets hit hard with this trope. To start, she and her parents end up on a shitty transport shuttle trying to find a new life somewhere, only for the Athena to raid it and capture everyone aboard. Then she manages to escape, while her parents are imprisoned. While evading the mercs by living in the ventilation system, she ends up witnessing her father get turned into a drone. She later meets up with her mother again after Riddick deactivates the prison cells in order to start a riot. Then she gets to watch her mother get shot in the back by a psychotic ex Athena merc turned prisoner named Jaylor while trying to let Riddick out of a ventilation hatch (in previous conversations with Riddick, Jaylor constantly talked about how he wanted to kill and rape Ellen. Yes, in that order). Later, after Riddick stabs Revas in the neck and gets off the ship in an escape pod, Lynn will run up to the window and beg him not to leave her behind, while the Made of Iron Revas will call you out on that and tell you she's going to make the kid suffer (and promptly shoots Riddick's pod down onto Aguerra Prime). After Riddick makes his way back onto the Athena to use it to get off the planet (who were raiding it), Lynn shows up again and helps you by causing the drones to attack the mercs. Riddick finally seems to have her safe after finishing Revas for good shortly after. By the way, Lynn is six.
Cargo Ship: In-universe, towards Riddick's escape from the Athena one of the mercs can be heard describing the ship as a beautiful dame who lit up his life, and that she's serenading him. His partner laments being saddled with a weirdo on his last shift.
Chekhov's Gun: When Riddick arrives on the Athena, he will steal Revas's hairpin (fashioned out of a bone) during the cutscene to use it as a shiv, among several other weapons you acquire. At the end of the first boss fight, Riddick will use it to knive Revas through the neck.
Chekhov's Gunman: Jaylor means it when he says he's going to kill Ellen Silverman.
Damn You, Muscle Memory: The mechanics of the melee combat system have been changed quite a lot between the original Butcher Bay and this game. This is especially noticeable when replaying the remastered Butcher Bay levels. In general, enemies are a lot better at blocking, and there is greater emphasis on counters rather than "stick and move". You need to use somewhat different tactics than in the original version, or else you'll get pummeled.
Dark Action Girl: Revas got control of the Athena by being even tougher and meaner than the other mercs. She is a proficient soldier and even takes on Riddick directly in a knife fight and powered armor.
Demoted to Extra: Johns was an important character in Escape from Butcher Bay, but here, he doesn't have any relevance to the plot and spends nearly the entire story unconscious. This was apparently caused by his voice actor being unavailable.
Disney Villain Death: Revas dies this way, as she falls to her death in the elevator shaft of the Athena.
Elite Mooks: The red-armored Mercs with red goggles encountered towards the end of Dark Athena have insane amounts of armor and can take more than a full magazine of assault rifle fire to kill. Most players never notice this, though, since by that point in the game you're given a One-Hit Kill rifle with unlimited ammo.
Endless Corridor: During the tutorial level, Riddick enters a seemingly endless hallway after he's killed all the enemies and goes through the last door. Walking towards the end makes all the lights progressively go out as Riddick notes how the dark doesn't scare him.
Foregone Conclusion: Anyone who has watched a Riddick movie will know that he and Johns will survive, but their past beforehand is largely unknown in the movies, so only their survival is known, not the events.
Guide Dang It: The first time you meet an Alpha Drone, you will be killed because you have no idea how to defeat it. (You have to first stick five SCAR Gun shots on it, detonate them to make it kneel, and kill it up close.) Thankfully, most times the game drops some hints after a while.
Human Resources: The Ghost Drones. Human prisoners gutted, lobotomized, and given rudimentary AIs that can be overridden by a human operator.
I Love the Dead: Jaylor states in no uncertain terms that he intends to do this to Ellen Silverman after first killing her as soon as the prisoner riot starts. He makes good on the "killing her" part, but doesn't survive for long afterwards.
Long Song, Short Scene: The game contains a very brief sequence in which the player can control Drones, during which the ordinarily ambient soundtrack is dropped for an awesome techno beat... which is used nowhere else in the game and appears to be impossible to find in MP3 format. Is this it?
Mercy Kill: Riddick encounters a man strapped to an operating table who's being converted into a Ghost Drone. The man begs Riddick to pass a message on to his family and kill him before the doctors can finish. It's up to the player to do so.
Nigh-Invulnerability: The Proxy. Mercs controlling Ghost Drones are using them as remote proxies in the field, so they themselves are protected from all harm. When Riddick uses a Drone station himself death becomes a minor nuisance to the player, as every time a drone falls in battle you just immediately wire back in and the next drone in line activates.
Nintendo Hard: Hard mode. Stealth is an absolute must. Luckily, the only thing that changes is enemy damage. Their health and intelligence remains the same.
No-Gear Level: In the first boss fight against Revas, she kicks you and your assault rifle flies under the table. Yet, when the game starts up again, all your weapons are gone besides your club, blades, and fists. Additionally, you often lose any NanoMED cartridges you have in your inventory when transitioning between levels.
No Pronunciation Guide: Revas. Riddick/Vin Diesel pronounces it as "Reh-vis," while every other character in the game says it as "Ree-vis."
The Athena's version of the Riot Guards from the first game.
The Iron Lord, which Revas wears in the final boss fight.
Puzzle Boss: Revas in your second and final fight. She's immune to any conventional attacks, but the SCAR gun can knock her back down. Beating her requires opening the doors of the elevator shaft behind her, and knocking her back enough times to make her fall in to her death.
Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: The sadistic Jaylor expresses his intent to rape Silverman, and asks Riddick to rile her up for him. Riddick refuses and replies he just murders people.
Regenerating Health: You can regenerate damage within a box of health by standing still for a few seconds, but if the segment is lost, you need a med station. However, the Powered Armor in the space walk uses a fixed amount of health that gets fixed at repair stations.
Torture Technician: An unseen member of the Athena crew occasionally referred to as "The Dentist" is strongly implied to be this. Being sent to him/her is considered an extreme punishment, on par with having your body harvested into a mindless cyborg. One seasoned merc is willing to face the One-Man Army that is Riddick when Revas threatens him with a "trip to the Dentist". Earlier in the game another merc can be overheard joking about it, and his partner immediately shuts him up with a sincere "Don't even fucking joke about that".
Unexpected Gameplay Change: Those who have played Butcher Bay will be surprised with this game at first, as it is an action shooter at most times of the game, as Butcher Bay was mainly a stealth game up until the end and the dream sequence at the beginning. It is easy to get used to, but it is obvious that the engine was built around stealth and melee, something you won't be able to do when you're sandwiched by several drones all shooting at you.
Unwilling Roboticization: Much of the Athena's mission since Revas took over is to annihilate major colonies so the survivors can be harvested for her cyborg army. The "Ghost Drones" can be remote-controlled by the other mercs from specific control stations and are mindless automatons. Riddick encounters a guy who's in the middle of the transformation process and begs Riddick to kill him.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: A helpless prisoner on the Athena is being converted into a Drone. He asks you to kill him to spare him this fate, but you can just leave him lying there, in which case you may well imagine him as one of the Drones you kill later in the game. Though this may be a good thing, as when drones help you he might be one of them, so he gets revenge on his captors.
Would Hurt a Child: During Riddick's escape from the Athena, Revas reveals herself to be alive. She tries to kill little Lynn, who was trying to get on Riddick's escape craft after it took off.